Beloved by generations of Western Australians, Rottnest Island, known as Wadjemup to Whadjuk Noongar people has an even longer history. Thousands of years ago Wadjemup was connected to the mainland, and Noongar people would walk to this important meeting place and ceremonial site.
Although this place holds painful memories for many Whadjuk Noongar people, its important origins have not been forgotten.
The Wadjemup Bidi Trail Head marker on Rottnest Island forms an entry statement to the many walk trails on the island. These trails allow the island’s visitors to experience many aspects of its unique identity. Two local Noongar artists, Aurora and Sandy Abraham, were commissioned by the Rottnest Island Authority to create artwork that symbolised various aspects of the island, that would become a part of the trail head marker.
Publik worked closely with Aurora and Sandy to develop and incorporate their artwork into the trail head, which represents the Island’s unique attributes. Depicted is the Island’s beloved quokka and its tracks, local flora – the pig face, and a representation of a meeting place.
The artwork was converted to a digital form and engraved onto rusted panels which allowed the engraved symbols to stand out and become an identifying feature of the marker.
The Rottnest Island Authority required panels to be interchanged with the Aboriginal six seasons, featuring a new panel on the trail head marker at the start of each season, displaying information about the relevant plants and animals that can be seen throughout the season, allowing an insight into how the Whadjuk Noongar people have lived in harmony with the land for thousands of years. Publik developed an innovative system that allowed the client to easily remove and replace the panels while keeping them locked in and secure to prevent theft or vandalism.